Govt condemns BJP remarks, throws ball back in their court

New Delhi, Aug 27: Government on Monday rejected BJP allegation of bribes having been paid to Congress party in coal block allocations and ruled out bringing a Confidence Motion in Lok Sabha or sine die adjournment of Parliament.

At a hurriedly-called press conference to rebut BJP's charges on the coal block allocation issue, Finance Minister P Chidambaram termed as "unfortunate" use of phrase 'mota maal' (hefty sums for Congress party) by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and said BJP should avoid such words.

"I outright reject (the allegations)," he said when asked to comment on BJP allegation that Congress received bribes in coal block allocation.

"It was most unfortunate and unbecoming of the leader of opposition to make sweeping allegations," he said.

The minister appealed to opposition, especially BJP, to come to parliament and discuss the statement made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday morning.

"The prime minister has made a long and detailed statement which deserves to be debated. If there is anyone who has serious differences, he must seize the opportunity of prime minister's offer of debate," he said.

Chidambaram also rejected criticism of CAG's findings in the prime minister's statement, saying fair criticism of Constitutional authorities is permitted.

To a question, he ruled out government bringing a Confidence Motion in Lok Sabha, saying the "Government enjoys confidence of Parliament and the government enjoys the confidence of the people."

"There is no reason for us to seek a Vote of Confidence," he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, who also addressed the press conference, ruled out sine die adjournment of parliament in the face of BJP's obstructionist tactics.

"There is no such thinking on the part of government. This session will go on till Sept 7," she said.


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